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June 24, 2024

End of an Era: Benny Safdie Confirms Split with Brother and Longtime Collaborator Josh

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Jan 5, 2024

In a shocking announcement that rocked the indie film world, Benny Safdie has confirmed that he and his brother Josh have ended their creative partnership as co-directors. The Safdie brothers have collaborated on critically acclaimed films like “Good Time” and “Uncut Gems” over the past decade, working in tandem to bring their gritty, anxiety-inducing vision to life. But Benny told Variety this week that the two are now pursuing solo endeavors.

From Childhood Filmmaking to Breakout Success

Benny, 37, and Josh, 40, have been making movies together since they were kids growing up in New York City. They gained attention in the late 2000s for micro-budget indies like “The Pleasure of Being Robbed” and “Daddy Longlegs” before their kinetic crime thriller “Good Time”, starring Robert Pattinson, brought them mainstream notice in 2017.

Their ambitious follow-up, 2019’s “Uncut Gems” with Adam Sandler, earned critical raves and established the Safdies as leading voices of contemporary urban cinema. As Benny told Variety, “We’ve spent every day together for basically our whole lives.” Their unique creative shorthand and brotherly bond seemed unbreakable.

Behind the Breakup

So what caused this shocking split after 15 years of working side by side?

Details remain murky, but Benny hinted that he feels constrained by the dynamics of their fraternal collaboration: “I want the freedom to self-determine and carve new paths and channels for my creativity.”

He also admitted that opportunities arising from his breakout supporting turn in Christopher Nolan’s 2023 film “Oppenheimer” have changed his priorities and sense of independence.

As Josh told IndieWire in July, “Benny did ‘Oppenheimer’ and has gotten all these acting roles, and he has his own path now.”

While the bond between the brothers remains strong personally, it seems their individual professional aims have diverged irreparably.

What’s Next for the Former Creative Duo?

Benny has wasted no time asserting himself creatively. He will make his solo directorial debut on an ESPN docudrama called “The Curse”, about the tragic life of boxer Paul Vaden.

He also plans to continue acting, with roles in Mickey17 starring Robert Pattinson and an untitled film from Joanna Hogg.

As for Josh, he was already developing projects without Benny even before their split, including a Madonna biopic and an adaptation of the cult novel “The Stops Along the Way”. He has yet to announce his first post-Benny directing gig.

The brothers also put a pin in plans for a follow-up collaboration with Adam Sandler along the lines of “Uncut Gems,” tentatively described as “a multigenerational family crime thriller” that would have co-starred musician Megan Thee Stallion.

Perhaps someday the Safdies will reunite for another crazy crime caper. For now, Benny emphasised that he remains “proud of the work we’ve made together” even as the two trailblazers move ahead on their own individual paths.

Charting the Safdie Brothers’ Creative Partnership

Year Film Description
2007 The Pleasure of Being Robbed The Safdie’s acclaimed microbudget debut, made while they were still attending Boston University
2009 Daddy Longlegs Minimalist drama drawing from the Safdies’ experiences with their own father
2014 Heaven Knows What Gritty drama based on the true story of LA street addict Arielle Holmes
2017 Good Time Crime thriller starring Robert Pattinson, the Safdies’ breakthrough into the mainstream
2019 Uncut Gems Anxiety-inducing diamond district crime drama starring Adam Sandler

While this rupture surely comes as a blow to indie film fans who saw the Safdies as creative soulmates, we will surely see impressive work from both brothers as they embark on their solo journeys. We can only speculate what daring creative heights they might have reached together, but now we have twice as many compelling Safdie projects to anticipate.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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